[Spi-private] Publically viewable resolutions and increasing the visibility of board activity

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Thu Dec 28 12:14:00 UTC 2006

Neil McGovern <neilm at spi-inc.org> wrote:
> To help the membership to have a greater involvement in the board, and
> it's practices; with immediate effect, I'm implementing the following in
> how I accept resolutions for board meetings. For a resolution to be
> valid and accepted, it must meet requirements A,B and C below.
> ----------------- snip -----------------
> A) A resolution must be submitted to the following:
>     1. the secretary - via secretary at spi-inc.org AND
>     2. the board of directors - via board at spi-inc.org AND
>     3. an SPI mailing list:
>         3a. use spi-general at lists.spi-inc.org UNLESS the information within the
>             resolution is private, legally or time sensitive, in which case,
>         3b. use spi-private at lists.spi-inc.org UNLESS the information is
>             legally sensitive, or requires limited disclosure in which case,
>         3c. use board at spi-inc.org as above

I think this barrier contradicts the bylaws. They say the secretary
shall "present to the membership at any meetings any communication
addressed to the Secretary of the organization". Actually, why has the
secretary not been reporting such communications at meetings?

> B) To be considered at a board meeting, a resolution must be:
>     1. sponsored by a board member AND
>     2. submitted at least 48 hours before that board meeting occurs.

If implemented, this seems likely to cause many more membership votes:
"If the board decides not to consider an issue, the membership may
vote on the resolution."

> If the board will not consider a resolution, it may be put before the
> membership for a vote. The proposer should submit the vote to the
> secretary with N seconds. N is defined as:
> N = sqrt(M) where M is the number of contributing members.

This suggested amendment to the bylaws looks like another new barrier
to member participation, designed to allow the board to ignore member
requests completely, unless they're backed by 20 contributing members
or 1 board member.

As a whole, this policy appears to further weaken member involvement
in SPI and change the bylaws.  Please replace this dodgy policy with
something more open that doesn't change the bylaws, such as:

Resolutions received by the Secretary more than 48 hours before a
board meeting, or the issue of the meeting notice if later, will be
put before the board for consideration.  Resolutions received later
may not be reported until the following meeting.

Please indicate if you feel the resolution request should be resent to
spi-general, spi-private or only board, or send a copy yourself.
Resolutions which have not been discussed much in advance may be
considered with a recommendation to vote at a future meeting.

and please prioritise improving member communications above building
new barriers to participation.

MJ Ray - see/vidu http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Somerset, England. Work/Laborejo: http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
IRC/Jabber/SIP: on request/peteble.

More information about the Spi-general mailing list